No good will come out of extending Bush-era tax cuts

We keep hearing the same sing-song from the advocates of extending the 2001 Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. They claim repealing it would not only hinder job growth, but lead to further economic distress.

Unbelievable testament to warped logic. Since those infamous tax cuts, our country has been in a downward spiral, jobs have languished and the economy has tanked. The claim that continuing the same tax cuts for the wealthy that brought us to this point will now magically do exactly the opposite and lead us to employment growth and economic prosperity is no less than insane.

There is a relevant popular saying that insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Another version is even more apropos: Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.

Under former President Dwight Eisenhower, the high income rate was 91 percent, under former President John F. Kennedy it was 76 percent and under former President Bill Clinton it was 36 percent to 39 percent for the top two income tax rates.

President Barack Obama initially wanted the top two income tax rates to return to the Clinton era to 36 percent from 33 percent and 39.6 percent from 35 percent. In addition, the investment tax rates would go up to 20 percent from 15 percent. That means returning to the exact rates under which Clinton held court for two terms and we flourished. It is also what dissenters refer to as a “tax hike” rather than a “tax return,” which is what it is.

All the hoopla is about a 3 percent to 3.6 percent return in income and 5 percent return to investment tax rates. That is what we are led to believe will bring the wealthy to their knees and prevent them from creating more of those invisible jobs they have created since and due to the Bush tax cuts.

Be real! The disparity between the CEOs of corporations and their workers has exponentially risen through the years. In 1950, it was 24 times the average worker pay, 122 times in 1990, 362 times in 2005 and, by 2009, it exploded to 550 times the wages of the average worker. Currently, a CEO earns more in one work day than an average worker earns in 52 weeks.

As that rare and recently deceased great humanitarian U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy once said, “When does the greed stop?”

Nicholas Zizelis


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